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Samanovo Zbozi - Ctvrta polnice CD (album) cover

CTVRTA POLNICE

Samanovo Zbozi

 

Crossover Prog

4.95 | 3 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Formed in 2009, the crossover prog band Samanovo Zbozi from the Czech Republic released their 3rd album "Ctvrta Polnice" in early 2019. This album is made up of 8 tracks that range from just under 5 minutes up to just under 14 minutes and has a run time of just over 55 minutes total. The line-up of the band for this album is Jakub Novak on vocals, guitar and theremin, Martin Dytko on guitar, vocals and keyboards, Kamil Tomek on bass, and Dominik Bart on drums.

Starting off with "Dělníci Poezie" (Workers of Poetry), we get a reading of poetry from a guest (the entire album is performed in their native tongue), against a slightly funky background as it builds. Soon, things get more melodic as the vocals continue and the nice jazz / funk vibe continues. This track is defiantly very pleasing to the ear, though not what I would call standard rock by any means, especially as things become more complex and actually quite heavy before returning to the original vibe. Later, things return back to the complexity and heaviness as the track becomes surprisingly progressive and intense. This has an excellent sound to it as it varies between funk and experimental metal.

"Zjevení" (Revelation) continues in the heavy progressive style, but this time alternating from heavy to soft, but always somewhat complex. I unfortunately lack the skills to understanding the language, but this definitely doesn't stop me from enjoying this dynamic and interesting music that borders from a jazz / rock fusion style to more complex Heavy Prog styles. The last few minutes has a beautiful melody shared by guitar and what seems like a mellotron sound after the vocals end. "Elegie" has a darker sound with sometimes whispered vocals and other times sung at full voice, the music builds from soft and mysterious to emotional and cinematic a few times during the track, but with a progressive style, avoiding the formulaic rock style almost completely.

"Půlnoční Záchvat" (Midnight Seizure) begins much more experimental and minimal as atmospheric sounds made by guitars swirl around and continue to do so with cymbal rolls and crashes while vocals begin and continue. A minimal beat keeps it moving forward pensively. At 4 minutes, the full band finally kicks in and build to a emotional and heavy instrumental section that contrasts nicely to the first part of the track. It calms down again for the last part of the vocals. "Kov o Kov" begins as a full blown progressive riff pounding away and intensifying quickly before backing off to let the bass take over the riff and processed vocals come in. Dynamics vary later from soft to loud as the melody stays complex, even becoming suddenly minimal and experimental in the middle of the track and nice micro-tonal guitar work with cool effects coming later.

"Bozí Syn" (God's Son) continues with the complex sound and dynamic, but moves into a more steady instrumental break that acts as almost a reprieve from the dark and heavy feeling, but later returns to theme before the end. "Druhá oběť" (The Second Victim) is the longest track at over 13 minutes. The music builds off of a riff with repeating notes going from a simple solo instrument to a full band sound culminating in a heavy climax before slipping into a soft guitar and vocal, almost reminding one of Yes' "Heart of the Sunrise" in structure only (not in melody however). There is a lovely and progressive soft guitar solo supported by mostly minimal background. Very nice. As it continues, things get more atmospheric and mysterious and then a heavy guitar comes in building intensity. More guitars and bass come in really strong as the music plods along, but in good way. It just keeps getting better as it goes along, heavy and dark, yet very progressive, this is everything I love about Heavy progressive, harsh and complex, this track is a definitely highlight. "Stella Lontana" (Far Away Star maybe, I'm not sure) is a nice way to wrap up the album in a more mellow way, more minimal, almost like Sigur Ros with spacey effects and soft percussion.

This is one of the better albums I have heard in 2019. The only problem I have here is personal only because I don't understand the lyrics, but the music and melodies are so great that it almost doesn't matter. I love the use of dynamics on this album, and the music leans more towards the Heavy or Eclectic Prog sound on this album. It is definitely complex and never follows any standard rock format except for being progressive. This is definitely one band that I want to look into more. Highly recommended for those that like their music complex and dynamic, yet somewhat dark and heavy.

TCat | 5/5 |

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